THIS WEEK ON U.S. FARM REPORT
EPISODE # 2046
OCTOBER 27-28, 2012
Hello and welcome to U.S. Farm Report, I’m John Phipps. Those wacky farmers in Iowa just set another mind-boggling record for farmland prices this week - $21,900 per acre. And I’m not sure how long that record will stand. The corn belt is moving north and west, and the market is showing exactly where good results have been happening and more importantly, where buyers think the best production conditions will be. The premiere prices of central Illinois have faded as extra degree-days have moved the sweet-spot for corn production. This is why arguing about the effect of climate change is a waste of time. It's no longer academic debate - it's an economic opportunity.
It was a tough week on Wall Street as earnings reports from several major companies were less than positive. Chemical makers - Dow and DuPont - both announced major job cuts. At the same time, however, both said their agriculture divisions were one of the few highlights of a poor-financial picture.
Meanwhile, DuPont Pioneer says its agricultural sales increased four % in the third quarter. The company says profits in their AG division jumped - crediting a strong start to the southern hemisphere planting season. Dupont Pioneer says it's now tracking to finish the year on target. There's no "tumble" in harvest as it's quickly coming to an end for many farmers in the cornbelt. As of Monday, 87% of the nation's corn crop is harvested. The five year average is 49%. Soybeans are not too far behind with 80% in the bin. Minnesota and the Dakotas have finished those fields. Widespread drought in the United States receded slightly for the fourth week in a row. But the latest U.S. drought monitor map also shows the area in exceptional drought - centered over Nebraska - is unchanged. Nearly all of that state is under an extreme or exceptional drought. And about half of the country is still considered in a severe drought or worse, very little improvement from last week. Japan is set to enter the final phase of easing restrictions on beef imports from the United States and other western nations. Meanwhile, agricultural trade with Panama could see a dramatic shift starting this week. The long-sought free trade agreement with Panama will enter into force on Wednesday. The FTA means the removal of some tariffs and other trade barriers on U.S. made products. The National Cattlemen's Beef association says implementation of the FTA immediately eliminates the 30% tariff on prime and choice beef cuts.